MCC student pulls 5-year-old from bottom of pool - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

MCC student pulls 5-year-old from bottom of pool

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Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:53 pm | Updated: 3:21 pm, Wed Sep 28, 2011.

While working at a YMCA camp in Anchorage, Alaska over the summer, Shaquelle Massey was required to learn CPR and first aid.

He's never had to use such emergency measures, but on Sunday, the 19-year-old Mesa Community College student came pretty close.

About 2:30 p.m. as he was walking home from Fiesta Mall to his apartment at the Fiesta Park Apartments, 1032 S. Longmore Drive, Massey's quick actions helped save a 5-year-old boy's life after Massey noticed him floating at the bottom of the complex's pool.

And Massey has yet to know the boy's name who was revived by paramedics at the scene and transported to Banner Cardon Children's Medical Center.

The boy's condition was not known, according to the Mesa Fire Department.

"I was just walking by the pool," Massey said. "When I first saw him, I thought he was playing a joke, but after not seeing him move at all for about three seconds, I knew he was in trouble. I jumped in the pool, pulled him out and called 911. He started coughing and spitting up water."

Massey, who is majoring in sociology and plays on the MCC football team, said he hadn't seen the boy at the apartment complex before. However, he often sees small children in the pool, sometimes supervised, other times, not.

A sign posted at the Fiesta Park Apartments swimming pool says no children under 18 are permitted to swim without adult supervision, according to a worker at the complex.

Ed Swift, founder of Phoenix-based Children's Safety Zone, which reports water-related incidents in Arizona and provides water safety tips, said on Monday that barriers around pools and supervision are key to helping to prevent water-related incidents.

Although summer is over, such incidents in Arizona are common as hot temperatures continue for at least another two months, Swift said.

"Drownings never stop," Swift said. "They are more prevalent in the summer, but in the fall, pools aren't too cool to get into yet. You always need to have barriers up and make sure the kids are being watched."

Swift said that about half of child drownings or near drownings are in pool settings or during pool parties.

"Everyone thinks that someone else is watching the children," Swift said.

In the East Valley this year, Apache Junction's only water-related incident resulted in the drowning death of one child.

Chandler has experienced 17 water-related incidents with one child drowning as of Monday, according to Children's Safety Zone statistics.

Gilbert has experienced six water-related incidents this year, but had two child fatalities.

Mesa, the East Valley's largest city, had 10 incidents and three fatalities with one child drowning, and Tempe had eight incidents with two adult drownings.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6533 or msakal@evtrib.com

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